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Statehouse

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, April 26th

Lawmakers are retuning to Topeka today, (WED) to start wrapping up the 2011 legislative session. There are several high-profile issues still on the table. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, lawmakers hope to finalize legislation aimed at fixing problems in the public employee retirement plan.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, April 26th

Kansans will be rallying at the Statehouse today (WED) to raise awareness of issues facing the developmentally disabled. Matt Fletcher is the associate director at InterHab, a group that advocates on behalf of the disabled. He says since 1996, waiting lists for services have grown, to the point where 4500 Kansans are now on waiting lists for services.Fletcher says the rally is aimed at getting the attention of lawmakers and reversing funding cuts from recent years.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, April 26th

Lawmakers are set to return to the Statehouse tomorrow (WED) to start wrapping up the 2011 legislative session. Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, is the top Democrat in the Senate. He believes one of the biggest issues lawmakers need to tackle is a deficit in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS. Hensley says there are thousands of working and retired Kansans who rely on KPERS.The system faces a multibillion dollar deficit over the coming decades. A Senate plan would have employers and workers paying more into KPERS. A House proposal would focus on moving workers out of the...

Stephen Koranda Monday, April 25th

Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins is touting her party’s budget proposal passed by the U-S House earlier this month. Supporters believe it will help reduce the federal deficit, but opponents say it cuts too deep and some steps are too drastic. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Jenkins was in Topeka yesterday (MON) as part of a 3-day tour of her district.

Stephen Koranda Monday, April 25th

Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins is supporting her party's budget plan that passed earlier this month in the U-S House. Proponents believe that plan would help control the federal deficit. It has drawn criticism for proposals to cut spending and revamp social programs including Medicare. But Jenkins believes those criticisms are overblown. While meeting with some of her 2nd District constituents in Topeka today (MON), Jenkins said any Medicare changes would not affect Americans age 55 or older.Jenkins’s appearance in Topeka today (MON) was the first of four scheduled during her current...

Stephen Koranda Friday, April 22nd

Kansas lawmakers will meet today (MON) to work on legislation aimed at fixing a deficit in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS. The system is projected to face an 8 billion dollar deficit over the coming decades. That means in the future, there won’t be enough money to pay promised retirement benefits. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, lawmakers are considering different ways of fixing the problem.

Stephen Koranda Friday, April 22nd

Lawmakers are finalizing a state spending plan, and state university officials hope balancing the budget won’t require them to make more cuts. A report released by the Board of Regents last month says Kansas higher education has a big economic impact in the state. University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little realizes times are tough, but believes higher ed funding is worth it.The report claims every state tax dollar spent returns around twelve dollars into the economy. That economic impact includes salaries and tax collections generated by universities. Legislators are trying to...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, April 21st

A bill in the Kansas Legislature would mean a bigger engineering school at the Univeristy of Kansas. The legislation is aimed at increasing the number of engineers graduating from Kansas universities by 60 percent. The bill would provide 4 million dollars to state universities for the first year, and 7 million dollars per year after that. The schools would have to raise matching funds to get the money. KPR’s Stephen Koranda has more on the legislation.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, April 21st

A bill in the Kansas Legislature would mean a bigger engineering school at the University of Kansas. The legislation is aimed at increasing the number of engineers graduating from Kansas universities by 60 percent. But KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little says they don’t have room for any more students, so the funding would be used to expand the engineering program.The bill would provide 4 million dollars the first year to Kansas universities, and 7 million dollars per year after that. The schools would have to raise matching dollars to get the state funding. The bill has passed the Senate...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, April 20th

Departments of transportation all across the nation say they are losing revenue due to the increasing number of electric and alternative-fuel vehicles on the roads. Since those cars use less or no gasoline, their owners aren't paying their fair share of taxes to maintain the roadways. Kansas Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller says one option could be a vehicle miles-travelled tax. GPS technology would track the number of miles travelled by a given vehicle. That same technology could also be used to track where and when a person travels. Miller says the "Big Brother" question has...

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